Thursday, October 11, 2012


Pardon the unintelligible title. These days I seem to be perennially pressed for time. But there are certain things one just has to write about immediately? (not ?, it should be . Ah, screw it.)
Have you heard of a band called Turquoise Cottage. Probably not. Because it isn't a band. It's a bar. My brains are addled, my mind is muddled, my words are scuttled, forgive me please.
It's a nice place. Dimly lit. Old movie posters, newspaper cuttings and rock 'n' roll memorabilia on the walls. Rolling Stone magazine covers - good shit.
The drinks? Dunno. I don't drink.
Why not? I don't like the taste of alcohol.
Am I nuts? Bite me.
I performed there once. Months back. It was much the same then, unsurprisingly. A lot more smoke though.
You see interesting people there. Korporate Babas and Bengali rockers and wannabe Pearl Jammers and moustachioed gentlemen who look like they spend their days on a yacht, puffing a pipe (I kid you not) and then going up to play some Dylan on a classical guitar and harp.
Ah, that's right, I didn't mention the music. Strange that, since that's the first thing that hits you, much before the smoke and booze and nautical Nelsons blowing (smoke) in the wind. There are these speaker stacks which ensure your eardrums are half-perforated and a drumkit that takes care of the other half. People go up and perform, the green and blue and yellow footlights flashing in their faces as their friends aim their cameras and flash in their faces and slutty chicks go around flashing them with sweat-stained faces. Okay, I made up one of those. pick whichever one you want and except (nope, nope, accept, 'scuse me, my brains are addled and... yadda yadda yadda) the other two to be the Gospel Truth, world without end, Amen. Ah, crap, I lifted that from one of the texts I'm doing in college. Oh, that reminds me, I'm doing English Honours at Hindu. But that's another story.
This story's about a night at Turquoise Cottage. I performed there once. I played a bunch of classical pieces and rounded it up with Blackbird. Paul McCartney. Genius. I got some positive feedback. Good to know. I wasn't even nervous or anything: usually my knee starts trembling like a junkie going cold turkey (John Lennon. Genius.). Not that time. The mood was too relaxed.
But I digress. this story isn't about that night. This story's about tonight.
Have you heard of L For Vendetta? You will. They're mindblowing. Completely insane. Three of them are my friends, so you can take that with a pinch of salt if you like, but you're better off trusting me. They're effing brilliant.
I have a shitty memory for names so I'm just gonna use first names. I know, I know, I just told you three of them are my friends, but it's not their names I have trouble with, I clapped eyes on the other two for the first time tonight but hell, was it worth it. Clapping my eyes I mean. Painful thing to do with your eyes, they're not like hands that way. So I'll stick to first names, just to be egalitarian. I know, I know, I'm intentionally misusing big words to make myself seem smart, I could have just said fair, but this is going to be some stream-of-consiousness crap, so I gotta keep even the pretentious bits.
So, the lineup.
You have Leonne. Drummer. One of the first-time-clapees-by-me. Seems like a nice guy. Cool beret. Double bass. Blew me away. Almost literally. I swear my shirt started rippling at some point.
Then there's Abhilasha. Again, first time, so don't expect any sharp insight from me or anything like that. Amazing voice, lotta sooooooullllll... I don't really know why I did that. What I mean is her voice soared and fell like a 747 flown by Johnny Knoxville. Also, she can do a pretty uncanny airhostess voice which considering what I just said is actually pretty appropriate. Plus she had a sore throat, but she sounded amazing all the same, so extra points there I guess.
Now we get to the old-timers.
Rudraksh. Need I say more? I keep putting up links to his blog. I'm not going to do it this time though. Too lazy. Check out my earlier posts, you'll find it.
Awesome vocalist. Can growl like a robotic T-Rex (which I've always mentaiaajkakj...crap! Maintained. There we go. Maintained is what Hendrix's guitar sounds like on Voodoo Child, so thats a helluva compliment). I always tell him that everytime he growls, babies start crying in Bhutan. He laughs, but I think the joke's getting old. Screw it, I hardly get a chance to use it anyway. We used to hang out a lot in school. Now, well, he's got a life and I've got a Chinese oppossum gnawing at my brain, so yeah. Anyway, he's grown a beard. Makes him look tough. Says he can comb it. Me, I have next to no facial hair. Girl says it's causes my testes don't secrete enough androgens. Probably true, but not exactly the context in which I'd want a girl talking about my genitalia (genitilia?). I ain't bitter though. I'll probably outlive the universe because of it.
Okay, onwards. Gavin. Ooooooold friend. Nephew actually. Long story. Awesome bassist. I overuse the word awesome. Screw it. He is. Plays over and under the fretboard. Clarence lives, I tellya. You either get that or you don't. He's got this great strap. I'm not gonna describe it. I'll let you imagine it for yourself. Or maybe you could hunt him down and ask to see it. Tell him I sent ya.
Moses. What can I say? He was named after the wrong Biblical bloke. Looks like Jesus. Plays like shit. I mean that in a good way. The best way, I mean. Seriously, he's kickass. Poor guy's gonna die at 27, I just know it. I'll miss him. We were on the same quiz team once. We were both pretty good. We won. Booyeah.
So, yeah, they came, they played, they conquered. God, such a cliche.
Met a few old school chums while I was there. Cheered and clapped with the rest of them. Left with a huge inferiority complex. Happens every time. It's when you see a band like that up on stage, performing their guts out and loving every minute of it as strangers and friends cheer them on that you know that's the only thing you can be really good at and be worshipped for. Really. People don't scream in movie theaters. If they do, they're usually dumbshits. You don't headbang to a painting. You sure as hell don't memrize the words to the Gettysburg Address. Or maybe you do. Good for you if you do. Guy's gotta have a hobby.
But yeah, musicians have it great. I just wonder if they know how great they have it. I spent the entire time meeting a few new people and trying to get them to like me. You know, jokes, anecdotes, sarcasm, the usual gimmicks, generally trying to be as big a phoney as possible. Usually works, but at the end of the day I always feel like I'm left on the edges, watching everyone else standing around in the centre, packed so tight there isn't room for one more. Gives me a better view, but God, it's lonely. Not that I'm complaining. Or maybe I am. Maybe the perception of social exclusion will make me a better writer, but I'll still never be a musician. Oh, don't worry, I won't stop playing, I still love music. But I know no one's gonna pay to watch me play. It's cool, I'm numb to it. But the good thing is it helps me recognise the musicians when I see them. L For Vendetta? Yeah, they'll be big, if they play their cards right. Mark my words and remember the name. Too lazy to put up a link. Just google it. And listen. And watch. And love. I'll be here on the sidelines, chronicling chronicling chronicling. At least I hope so. If not, they'll play at the funeral, so it's cool. They promised.